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Starting a New Exercise Program? Don't Make These Dietary Mistakes

Starting a New Exercise Program? Don't Make These Dietary Mistakes

The moment of truth has finally arrived. The soreness in your legs, the slight exhaustion you feel, all of it will be worth it the second you find yourself a few pounds lighter and headed in the direction of your ideal weight. You hit the treadmill every day! You cut back on carbs! You even started hydrating with those energy-boosting sports drinks so you could go harder!

Starting a New Exercise Program? Don't Make These Dietary Mistakes

You have to stop playing roulette with your diet.The truth is, all of those well-intentioned actions could actually be detrimental to your workout plan. When you are starting a new exercise routine, you cannot simply hop on a few machines at the gym, cut the calorie intake in half, and expect fast results. You have to make the program work for you and your unique body. It’s important to fuel up properly and make sure that you are making changes that can last a lifetime.

For instance, you have to stop playing roulette with your diet. Just because you are being more active doesn’t mean you should totally treat yourself at every opportunity.

“Some people find that their appetites increase when they start exercising, but that shouldn’t be a green light to start overeating,” warns Keri Gans, nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet. Rather, a growth in appetite means you need to start paying attention to what your body actually needs and to satiate it with the healthiest options.

To help you make sure that you are as successful as possible, we rounded up some mistakes you probably didn’t know you were making when it comes to your diet and exercising. Be sure to avoid these common misconceptions about eating while active.


Just because carbs can fuel your workout (and even help you lose weight) doesn’t mean you should overload on them. “Ideally, you want both carbs and protein before and after working out,” advises Gans. “The carbs are needed to help fuel your workout and to deplete your glycogen stores afterwards. Protein brings nutrients and oxygen to your muscles; it helps to rebuild and repair.”

Drinking Sports Drinks

Yes, you need to stay hydrated during your workout, but be smart about your fuel. Adding a sports drink to your exercise regimen when you only worked out for an hour or less is completely unnecessary. “Unless you are working out for more than one hour at a high intensity, water will do just fine for hydration,” says Gans.

How to Start Working Out (If You Basically Haven&rsquot Moved Since Halloween)

If you&rsquove been planted in the couch cushions for the last few weeks or your workout regimen has slipped, here&rsquos how to start exercising again and establish an exercise routine you&rsquoll actually stick with.

If the only working out you’ve done over the past few weeks is beating yourself up for being lazy, it’s time to forgive and move on. We asked fitness experts and personal trainers for their best advice on how to start working out again after a lull, whether it’s a morning workout or an afternoon round of stretching exercises.

Their tips will teach you how to start exercising like you never stopped (or like you’ve been doing it forever) with a little patience and determination, you’ll be hitting the gym (or the yoga mat) in no time. Here’s how to get up, establish a workout routine, and stay motivated long past waning New Year’s resolutions.

Topic: What Are Good Diet And Exercise Programs For Obese People?

Obesity is a major health concern and epidemic in the United States. It's important to encourage and help any obese people who want to change their lifestyle.

What are some good diet and exercise programs for people who are obese?

What are some good foods for them to choose when dining out in a restaurant, e.g. buffet. while sticking to this diet?

If someone you know is obese, how should you go about helping them?

How can you encourage someone who is obese to stick to their diet and training?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners

How much exercise do you need?

The key thing to remember about starting an exercise program is that something is always better than nothing. Going for a quick walk is better than sitting on the couch one minute of activity will help you lose more weight than no activity at all. That said, the current recommendations for most adults is to reach at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. You’ll get there by exercising for 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Can’t find 30 minutes in your busy schedule? It’s okay to break things up. Two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts can be just as effective.

How hard do I need to exercise?

Whether an activity is low, moderate, or vigorous intensity varies according to your personal fitness level. As a general guideline, though:

  • Low-intensity activity: You can easily talk in full sentences, or sing.
  • Moderate intensity: You can speak in full sentences, but not sing.
  • Vigorous intensity: You are too breathless to speak in full sentences.

For most people, aiming for moderate intensity exercise is sufficient to improve your overall health. You should breathe a little heavier than normal, but not be out of breath. Your body should feel warmer as you move, but not overheated or sweating profusely. While everyone is different, don’t assume that training for a marathon is better than training for a 5K or 10K. There’s no need to overdo it.

For more on the types of exercise you should include and how hard you should work out, read Best Exercises for Health and Weight Loss.

You Can Start Exercising After Age 60 — Here’s How

We all know exercising regularly can keep you active as you age, with fewer health issues — but how do you actually do it?

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Some people manage to stay fairly fit by keeping up with a busy lifestyle, until they get older. Others have just never gotten around to exercising much, and it starts to show.

Either way, if you’re pushing 60 or you’ve already passed that milestone, it’s time to get serious about making exercise a staple in your daily routine.

If your treadmill has gathered some dust, don’t worry. Here are six practical tips to get you going.

1. Get the go-ahead

If you haven’t seen a doctor lately, that’s your first stop. He or she will give you a physical exam to assess your present fitness level and make sure you’re healthy enough to start picking up the pace.

This is the time to find out whether any medical problems will affect your exercise routine. You may need to adjust for conditions such as heart problems, arthritis or diabetes, but exercise can also help you manage these conditions, so don’t get discouraged.

The key is to have clearance that will help guide your first steps. Your doctor may also offer advice on where to start or on exercise groups in your area that are tackling the same challenges you are. Above all, your doctor can get you on track and help ensure that you are exercising safely.

“The benefits of exercise far outweigh the fear of getting started,” says physical therapist Gary Calabrese. “It increases mobility, balance, reduces chronic conditions, helps you lose weight and increases lean muscle mass. It also improves sleep.”

2. Monitor your progress from the start

As you start exercising more, you may want to use a few simple tools to track your progress. Use a:

  • Pedometeror activity tracker to register how many steps you take each day
  • Stopwatch or timer to time your workouts and help you take your pulse before and after you exercise
  • Notebook or journal to keep track of daily exercise and show how far you’ve come as you progress

It helps to track your progress from the beginning because you likely won’t see immediate results, Calabrese says.

3. Now you’re ready, but start slow

All workouts should begin with a warm-up and stretching.

Simple leg and arm swings or trunk rotations are good for getting your muscles firing and your circulation going.

If you’re going for a walk, walk slowly and steadily for a few minutes before picking up the pace. Relax, breathe and don’t be afraid to take it slowly at first. You’ll find that it comes more easily as you develop a routine.

4. Choose the best exercises for you

A balanced exercise routine should include:

  • Aerobics
  • Strength exercise
  • Balance and proprioperception (the ability to sense where your body is in space)

Here are some tips to create the right routine:

Alternate days. Switch back and forth between aerobic and strength exercises, working up to at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days each week.

Find activities you enjoy. In general, find something new that you enjoy or activities you enjoyed in the past, and get moving. You might try walking, bicycling, sports, dancing or pilates. And if you can find friends who will exercise with you, all the better. You’ll help motivate each other.

Consider swimming. Doing laps in a pool (walking or swimming) is a great cardio workout, especially helpful if you are overweight or have joint pain.

Go for a walk. Walk briskly between certain landmarks in your neighborhood. If the weather is bad, walk up and downstairs at home or do chair sit-and-stands. Start slow and increase in 5-minute increments, eventually working up to about 30 minutes a day, Calabrese says.

Strength train. Use free weights or resistance bands for strength training. Rotate through the muscle groups — back, arms, legs, stomach, hips — to build in recovery time. Use 5-pound dumbbells or kettlebells and slowly add weight as you’re able to do more repetitions.

Work on balance every day. Try something as simple as standing at your kitchen counter on one foot and then the other helps improve balance. Yoga and tai chi are also excellent choices for older adults who want to improve balance and flexibility, he says.

“The key to remember is that you have to fit you to the program and not the program to you,” he says. If you’re having difficulty in a pilates or yoga class with one of the positions, don’t force it and cause yourself pain. Just do as much as you comfortably can.

5. Self-assess to see if you are working out effectively

The “talking test” is a good test of how hard you’re working. If your heart rate is up, but you can still have a conversation with a person next to you without gasping for air, you’re likely doing it right, says Calabrese.

You’ll notice normal soreness in the first 24 hours after a weightlifting session, but if you are still feeling it after 36 to 48 hours you probably did too much, he says.

If you’re not working hard enough, you’ll know that too. “You won’t see any impact in your level of fatigue, your ability to lift and your ability to walk distances if you are doing too little exercise,” he says.

6. Don’t forget about hydration and good fuel

As you commit to exercising regularly, it’s also a good time to reassess your eating habits and remember to drink plenty of water every day.

Plan meals and snacks that are high in fiber and well-balanced with “good” calories to fuel your body. Whole grains like oatmeal, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, beans, tofu and fish are all good examples.

Older people are likely eating less than they used to, so they should focus especially on hydration, Calabrese says.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Are you healthy enough to run a 5K?

Just because you WANT to run doesn’t mean you SHOULD necessarily start running just yet.

It could be a fast track to injury, disappointment, and misery!

Those are literally three of my least favorite things. The fourth being brunch. [1]

Back to your health: are you physically ready to run?

If you’re at or close to your goal weight, then starting a running program is a good idea.

Read the section below on “How to not get injured doing Couch to 5K” and get started.

If you are obese or very overweight, I think (power) WALKING a 5K is a great goal for the immediate future.

However, I think Mistake #3 would be running a 5K before properly preparing your body for it! In fact, running prematurely without addressing your weight might cause damage to your joints and ligaments and cause you to backslide a whole bunch.

WHAT I WOULD DO INSTEAD: Focus on healthy eating, building the habit of daily walks, and follow a beginner strength building routine like the Beginner Bodyweight Circuit.

This will build you a solid foundation of strength, core strength, and endurance.

Download our free Bodyweight Workout Worksheet when you sign up in the box below:

The Best Diets of 2021, According to Our Registered Dietitian

This year, stop thinking about diets like a cleanse &mdash and more like a commitment.

If there ever was a year to let unhealthy habits bite the dust, 2021 is definitely it &mdash for many, it'll be a year of rebuilding routines, and making redeeming choices moving forward. And it might be the first time that you're interested more in how food makes you feel rather than how you look fortunately, there are a handful of eating plans that can help you on both fronts. Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, CDN, the Good Housekeeping Institute's registered dietitian, explains this year's best diets &mdash which can revolutionize your cardiovascular health, help you shed steady pounds, plus boost your mood &mdash won't push you towards what's commonly known as "yo-yo" dieting. "These aren't gimmicks to get you ready for a wedding in two weeks. The best diets teach you excellent nutrition principles that you can adopt for life, no matter which program you're following," she contends.

These top-rated diets and programs hold promise for anyone looking to improve their health this year if 2021 had a singular theme, it's sustainable, Sassos says. "These diets aren't cutting out major food groups that your body needs, but rather focus on incredible staples that you're adding into your everyday routine, and keep you on a reasonable track to better habits," she adds. Only one of the diets on our list actively discourages meat, but all of them emphasize more plant-based eating, Sassos points out, adding that these plans fight cardiovascular disease and inflammation while providing more antioxidants than ever: "You're going to fill up on nutritious foods that may, in turn, help you manage your weight."

It takes some work to get yourself ready for a healthier routine, especially if you want to stick with it all year long. Here's what you should prioritize on any diet you try:

  1. Getting enough energy: The U.S. Department of Health maintains that healthy amounts of calories in any given diet for adult females range from 1,600 to 2,400 each day (2,000 to 3,000 for men), but calorie intakes should be customized based on your activity level. If you're attempting to lose weight, Sassos says 1,200 calories (1,400 for men) should be the bare minimum. A meal plan that dips below this amount may not provide sufficient nutrients in your meals, and your metabolism will suffer.
  2. Focus on cutting added sugar: Women should avoid consuming more than 25g of sugar each day (36g for men) per the American Heart Association, but added sugar in caffeinated drinks, breakfast foods, snacks, and desserts can easily impact your diet. First, work on quitting habits that lead you to crave sugar, and then keep an eye on sugar counts in the future (consider targeting sugar if it's your Achilles heel).
  3. Avoid excess salt: Most excess sodium hides in packaged, processed foods, which adds to cardiovascular disease and inflammation in the process. Experts ask Americans to keep it to 1,500mg of sodium each day, not to exceed 2,300mg, to keep hearts healthy.
  4. Stay hydrated: Drinking at least 72 ounces of water each day (if not more!), or six to eight cups of water, can help keep you feel more satisfied in between meals. You may need more based on your activity levels, and calculating your exact need can be a boon for your overall health.
  5. Get sweaty: Especially if you're angling for weight loss, getting your heart pumping is important, as a healthy diet is only half the battle. You don't need to access a gym to get in at least 30 minutes of heart-pumping activity each day &mdash simply walking can help you lose weight, believe it or not.

You should always consult a primary care provider and/or with a registered dietitian on an individual basis before making drastic changes to your diet. Certain pre-existing health conditions may prevent you from following prescribed dietary plans. Discuss any potential side effects with a doctor before changing your diet or trying a new one altogether.

Below, we're sharing a ranking of the best diets of 2021, a brief explanation of why each program should edge out trendier diets you see elsewhere (yes, including Keto and Whole30), and resources to help make an easier transition for you into a brand-new routine. Read on to learn why each diet is healthy in the long run, but to summarize, the best diets for you in 2021 are:

How to Start a Weight-Loss Program

Publications International, Ltd.
How you start a weight-loss program can be an enormous factor in whether or not you ultimately succeed. See more weight loss tips pictures.

How many times have you tried to lose weight, only to gain it all back again? If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. Lasting weight control doesn't come easy. The problem is, many people try to change too much, too fast. They go "on" a diet, which means that they'll go "off" at some point.

What you need is to pick a plan that is right for you and then get off on the right foot as you begin. In this article, we will teach you the correct way to being a weight-loss program over the course of the following sections:

There are many misconceptions people have about weight loss. Many of the habits you might want to adopt to lose weight may actually be worse for your health. On this page, we will list these common misconceptions and explain why they are incorrect. For instance, you might believe if you skip a meal it will help you lose weight. Actually, skipping meals will lower your metabolism and train the body to retain weight. We will also show you why fat-free foods are not so great for you, and the various motivational mistakes that will derail your weight-loss program.

To efficiently begin losing weight, you need to understand how you view your own body. For instance, if you have a negative body image you may believe that you need to lose much more weight than would be even healthy for you. Consequently, you could be disappointed if you do not lose weight as quickly as you'd like. Conversely, a realistic body image can help you realize how much weight you need to lose, and motivate you to begin a weight-loss program. In this section, we will help you assess your own body image.

Because people perceptions of themselves can be so distorted, it is often difficult to determine if we need to lose weight. On this page, we will help you determine if you are happy with your weight. After all, realizing that your current weight does not please you is the greatest motivation to get started trying to take control of your health. In this section, you will find a questionnaire that you can download and fill out to discover if you are satisfied with your current weight.

Sticking to a weight-loss program is very difficult and requires a lot of sacrifice on your part. You will most likely have to change the way you eat, the way you feel about food, and they way you exercise. If you are unwilling to make these types of changes, your weight-loss program will most likely not succeed. In this section, we will provide a short, true-or-false, test you can take to find out your willingness to make sweeping changes.

Because changing your eating and exercise habits does not come easily, it is only too easy to convince yourself that it is not worth the trouble and quickly backslide into bad habits. In fact, your negative thinking is probably your biggest enemy when you are trying to lose weight. On this page, we will show you how to stay positive in the midst of weight-loss turmoil. We will also give you some typical examples of negative thinking and show you how you can turn those pesky thoughts into positive affirmations.

Snacking is a habit that most of us have fostered over a lifetime. When it's finally time to start losing weight, that urge to snack doesn't just go away. Between meals, when you're bored, or when you're watching television, most of us regimented times when we snack. Unfortunately, snacking can foil our best-laid weight-loss plans. In this section, we will offer some replacement activities that can occupy your mind while you wait for the urge to snack to pass you by.

Losing weight is hard enough as it is. The last thing we should do is set some outrageously unattainable goal that we cannot possibly achieve and will only result failure and the abandonment of our weight-loss aspirations. In this section, we will show you how to set realistic weight-loss goals that will be challenging, but also within your reach. It's important not to make ultimatums for yourself or have long-term, abstract goals that won't mean much to you during your day-to-day struggle to lose weight.

An integral part of sticking to your weight-loss program is feeling that you are making progress and being successful. Unless you can see some rewards, it's highly unlikely that you will stick to your weight-loss program. However, it's hard to notice minute changes from one day to the next. A good way to keep track of your progress is by using a diet diary. On this page, we will teach how to use a diet diary and even offer you a sample diary page that you can download and use to fulfill your own weight-loss plans.

Regardless of how you decide to lose weight, there are some general practices that you can follow to make your diet easier. Perhaps this simplest thing anyone can do to eat less and feel fuller is to simply slow down. If you slow down while you eat your body sends messages to your brain that you have had enough food and you will stop before you overeat. We will offer you some tips on how to follow this advice on this page.

Debunking Common Weight-loss Myths

Are your thoughts and habits keeping you fat? Believe it or not, the biggest obstacle to losing weight can be your own misconceptions about dieting. To see if your beliefs may be holding you back, read the following statements and decide which ones you believe are true. Then read the brief discussion after each statement to learn the facts, so you'll know what works and what doesn't.

If I skip breakfast or lunch, I will lose weight faster.

Eating fewer meals can actually lead to weight gain and added body fat. In fact, one study showed that people who skip breakfast have a four to five percent lower metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories to maintain vital functions when at rest) than those who do not. When you skip meals, your body fights back by slowing down the rate at which you burn calories. Believe it or not, you will lose weight more efficiently if you eat several small meals a day rather than one or two large meals.

As long as a food is fat-free, I can eat as much of it as I want without gaining weight.

Fat is indeed the most concentrated source of calories in our diet: A gram of fat provides nine calories, while a gram of carbohydrate or protein provides only four. So cutting down on the amount of fat you consume can be an efficient way to lower your calorie intake as well. However, just because a food is fat-free doesn't guarantee that it's low in calories.

As a matter of fact, when manufacturers remove the fat from a food product, they sometimes replace it with so much sugar that the fat-free product ends up providing more calories than the original product. And consuming more calories than you need -- no matter where they come from -- will cause you to gain weight. So while limiting dietary fat can be beneficial to your health and can be a simple way to trim excess calories from your diet, you must also keep tabs on-and reign in -- the number of calories you consume at the same time.

I want to lose weight, but unless I lose it fast and see results right away, I know I won't stick with the program.

If you lose weight fast (more than a pound or two a week), you are more likely to lose some muscle. Think of muscle as your body's engine. The larger the engine, the more gas it burns. If you lose too much muscle during weight loss, your engine becomes smaller and you need less "gas," or fewer calories, to keep it running. As a result, you'll actually gain weight if you eat the same number of calories that you previously consumed to maintain your old weight. Losing weight fast makes it harder for you to keep the weight off in the long run. Keep that in mind if you get tempted to switch to a fast-weight-loss fad diet or feel like abandoning your weight-loss efforts altogether.

I know that I can't eat at my favorite restaurants and still lose weight.

It's possible dine at any kind of restaurant today -- from fast food to five star-without compromising your weight-loss efforts. Granted, when you eat away from home, you may have less control over how the foods are prepared and which ingredients are used, but you can control which foods you choose and how much of them you consume. The secret is to know how to approach the restaurant challenge.

I have to give up "real desserts" to reach my goal weight.

You don't have to forgo your favorite foods or "goodies" to lose weight. Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If you love pie á la mode, just eat it less often and/or in smaller portions. Better yet, think substitution, not elimination.

I know the best way to lose my flabby stomach and thighs is to do sit-ups and leg lifts.

Actually, spot reducing doesn't work. When you lose fat, it comes from your total fat reserves, and you have no control over what part of the body those fat reserves will come from. Spot exercises can tone and strengthen muscles in specific areas. But, aerobic exercise -- such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or aerobic dance, for example -- is the best way to burn fat. The bottom line: You'll burn more fat from around your middle (as well as from other fat-laden areas) if you take a brisk 20-minute walk than if you do 100 sit-ups.

I would rather jump in the sauna and sweat off a few pounds than exercise.

You can't bake, sweat, or steam pounds off. Sweating without exertion causes only a temporary water loss, not a fat loss. The water lost will be quickly regained as soon as you have anything to eat or drink. And remember, sauna suits, rubber belts, and nylon clothes designed to make you sweat during exercise can actually damage your health. To avoid potentially deadly dehydration and heatstroke, it's important to replace fluids lost during exercise and allow your body's natural thermostat to regulate your temperature.

I will only feel successful if I reach my target weight.

Success means more than a number on the scale. It is an ongoing process that is rewarded each time you make a positive lifestyle change. So, don't be a slave to your bathroom scale. Put your time and effort into what really counts: keeping accurate records, and increasing your daily activity. Habits, not the daily fluctuations on the scale, will determine whether or not you achieve long-term success.

If I can't exercise strenuously for hours at a time, it really won't help me lose weight.

In general, experts agree that what's most important for improving health and controlling weight is replacing sedentary habits (like sitting in front of the television or computer) with activities that involve movement. All physical activity-whether it's running a track or a vacuum cleaner -- counts.

According to the government's latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005), it's the total amount of time spent in active pursuits that's most important when it comes to weight control. Although 30 minutes a day can help lower risk of chronic disease, to really manage your weight, the guidelines say you'll probably need to gradually work up to getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week (coupled with a calorie intake that doesn't surpass your needs).

But you don't have to get that 60 minutes of activity all at one time. Putting in a few 10- to 15-minute bouts of physical activity throughout the day-such as before work, during your lunch hour, and after dinner -- will work just fine.

And what about intensity? Although vigorous exercise (fast-paced aerobic activities such as jogging that really get your heart pumping) will burn the most calories, you'll still lose pounds if you couple moderate-intensity activity (such as brisk walking) with sensible eating. Even housework and gardening chores that get you working up a sweat-such as raking the lawn, scrubbing the bathtub, or washing the windows-count.

I just don't have the willpower it takes to lose weight and keep it off for good.

Lasting weight control is a process that takes "skillpower," not willpower. By identifying your eating habits, using the remedies in this book, and thinking positively, you can tackle your weight and win.

In the same way you can have misconceptions about weight loss, you may also have misconceptions about your own body image. In the next section, we teach you how to assess your own body image.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Assess Your Body Image

Close your eyes and picture yourself as you look today -- from head to toe. Pay particular attention to the size and shape of your body. That picture, what we sometimes refer to as our "body image," has a powerful influence over our weight-control efforts.

With the mental image of your body firmly in place, answer the questions that follow:

    If your best friend were to be totally honest with you, would they concur with the image you've made?

On the other hand, you may still hold your high-school yearbook picture in your mind as your current body shape. If a realistic assessment moves you several silhouettes larger, you may not realize how much excess weight you have to lose. Procrastination may delay you from beginning your weight-loss efforts.

It's very important to begin any weight-loss process with a realistic body image. To promote change, you must clearly visualize yourself becoming more and more like your ideal image. Get in touch with your body as you embark on your weight-loss journey with these few simple tips for helping you make the mind-body connection:

Mirrors: Spend time looking in full-length or three-way mirrors, preferably without clothes on. Be fully aware of how your body currently looks, and congratulate yourself on all progress as it occurs.

Clothing: Alter large or loose-fitting clothes to stay connected to your body. Try clothes that are more form-fitting to help you adjust to your changing image. Don't save your "fat clothes" -- it's like making a commitment to fail. Save one item of larger clothing to remind you of your progress.

Photographs: Take several photographs of yourself every four to eight weeks. Create a photo journal of your progress toward your weight-loss goals.

Assessing your body image is only part of the problem. Next you have to decide if you are happy with your current weight or if you would like to lose a few pounds. We'll help you make this decision in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Assess Your Weight

We often hear about the high cost of shedding excess weight. But how often do we consider the cost of not shedding those unwanted, extra pounds? As health-care reformists add up the billions of dollars it costs to treat diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, some researchers have been calculating the toll overweight takes on our overall quality of life.

What price would you pay for increased self-confidence, an improved self-image, a better love life, improved relationships at work and home? The good news is that even small reductions in excess body weight net big returns when it comes to improved quality of life.

Try this on yourself: For the next four weeks, follow the tips in this article that target areas of your lifestyle and behavior that you'd most like to improve. Then come back to this survey and answer these questions again. Note how your responses have changed. Recognize and give yourself a pat on the back for those areas in which you've improved. Remember, not all of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle are measured by the number that pops up on your scale each week.

We have one final test for you to take to determine if you are ready to lose weight. On the next page, you will find our true-or-false-test designed to rate your readiness to change your lifestyle.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Change can be exhilarating and exciting it can also be frightening and stressful. As you consider making changes toward a new, healthier lifestyle, it's important to assess your attitude toward change. We'll define attitudes as "consciously held beliefs." Before beginning any process of change, it's particularly important to understand whether your attitudes will move you toward, or away from, the goals you set. To help assess your attitudes, honestly answer the following true-or-false questions:

    Losing enough weight to reach my goal weight would guarantee me everlasting happiness.

If you answered "true" to more than four of these questions, you have some attitudes that may not move you toward your goals. It's important to identify and change these attitudes in order to lose weight permanently. If you answered "true" to ten or more of these questions, failure to change these destructive attitudes is likely to result in your being unsuccessful at keeping weight off once you've lost it. You may want to seek the assistance of a support group or of a mental-health professional.

Hopefully now you are ready to choose a weight loss program. While there are endless programs to choose from, for whichever one you select, you will need a positive attitude. Learn how in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Stay Positive About Weight Loss

What do your thoughts have to do with weight loss? Plenty. We talk to ourselves all the time. We call this silent conversation that we have with ourselves "self-talk." And what we say influences what we do. including whether or not we lose weight.

Self-talk is very powerful. By repeating the same thoughts over and over, the mind actually comes to believe they're true. We tend to act in ways consistent with our deepest internal beliefs. So, frequently, the statements become self-fulfilling. For example, if you tell yourself every day that losing weight is hopeless, eventually you will feel powerless to make changes. Simply put, you can talk yourself into doing something -- such as losing weight -- or talk yourself out of it.

How's your self-talk? Listen to that voice in the back of your head. Is it positive and moving you toward your goals? Or is it destructive and undermining your weight-control efforts? Remember, even negative self-talk can be changed by positive thinking.

Here are a few examples of how you can change your self-talk so that it works for, not against, your weight-control efforts.

Negative Self-Talk
Positive Self-Talk
I'm a hopeless failure. It's been over a week, and I haven't lost a pound.
I may not have lost weight, but I did exercise and plan my meals. If I keep making these small changes, I'll read my goals.
My mother and father are both overweight. I guess I'll always be fat because it's in my genes. My genes aren't my destiny. I know I can lose weight with healthier habits.
It's not fair that I have to eat diet food when everyone else can eat what they want.Lots of people are watching what they eat. I'm not alone in choosing healthful, nutritious foods that my body deserves.
It's time for my daily punishment for being fat. I have to go to the gym.Once I finish exercising, I always feel re-energized and in control.
I have no willpower. Weight loss takes skillpower, not willpower. By identifying my habits, planning ahead, and thinking positively, I can tackle my weight problem.
Life is no fun when I'm on a diet.
I make my own fun through friends and activities. Food is only fuel for my body.

As you can see, positive self-talk is a valuable skill that will enhance your self-image and lower the barriers between you and your goals. While you're learning this skill, write down your self-talk. It will help you to think more objectively about yourself and your weight-loss efforts.

You can also use a diary to record a mental inventory of your successes at the end of each day. What did you do well? Focus on the positive ("I went for a walk three times this week and felt great!"), not on the negative ("I missed walking one day.") And think about how you can make tomorrow better. Be sure to praise yourself for every one of your successes, even if it seems small.

Remember, weight control is much easier if you believe you can do it. Many of us have some doubts about reaching our goals, and this is natural. But by replacing our doubts with positive thoughts, we build belief in ourselves. And that belief can help us achieve our goals.

You cannot suppress the urge to snack even if you are trying to lose weight. You can, however, fight off the urge with another activity. Learn how in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Exercise for 60-Year-Old Females

Getting older doesn't mean you need to slow down. Once you hit 60, it's more important than ever to exercise most days of the week, according to the American Council on Exercise, (ACE). For optimal recovery between workouts, a good workout for a 60-year-old female is a high-intensity interval workout two days a week.

When you're in your 60s, it's a good time to do resistance training. Moving away from free weights and using weight training machines allows you to use heavy resistance with less stress on your joints. That's especially good if you have arthritis. The Mayo Clinic suggests doing weight training that challenges your major muscle groups: your chest, back, arms and legs.

This is also a good time to try interval training. Instead of a steady run or bike ride, alternate short bursts of activity that makes you breathe hard for one to two minutes with one to two minutes of easier activity. This is a great type of exercise for a 60-year-old female. Do this one to two times a week, along with your weight training.

Exercise classes, including water aerobics and other fitness classes, allow you to combine socializing with physical activity. Water aerobics is easy on the joints and allows you to get an excellent low-impact workout for a 60-year-old female. Try different cardio, weights, interval training, yoga and leisure sports activities. Whatever you do, keep adding challenge and variety to your workouts. This will help your body stave off age-related declines.

Top 12 weight loss mistakes

Here are the top 12 weight loss mistakes so you can see what not to do and we always advise working out your BMR so you know how many calories you need each day!

1. Thinking the weight will just fall off if you take a magic pill or potion

It won’t. Weight loss takes commitment and healthy weight loss should be done over a sensible period of time with the aim to lose 500g-1kg a week.

The focus should be on healthy eating, cutting out junk food and exercising. Pills which claim to ‘lose weight fast’ are not healthy, can lead to all kinds of side effects and are not safe in breastfeeding.

Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge can help you lose weight healthily. You can learn more about our Challenge HERE.

2. Not eating ENOUGH protein

Protein is critical in weight loss. It helps to keep you fuller, build lean muscle and helps to boost the metabolism.

You should aim for some protein every time you eat but it should always be combined with complex carbohydrates, fruit or vegetables to ensure your body is getting a good balance of nutrients that work well together and aid absorption and digestion.

3. Eating too many carbs

Carbohydrates in the form of vegetables and wholegrain pasta, rice, and bread are good (avoid white and processed bread and pasta) but you should watch your portion size. so I suggest this healthy pasta recipe.

Keep to 1/4 of your plate size to carbohydrates and 1/4 protein and 1/2 veggies. If you consume too many, you will be consuming too many calories.

Hannah Pech lost 38kg using the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges which helped her eat GOOD carbs t9 lose weight

4. Not getting enough fibre

Fibre and looking after your inner health is critical for helping to lose stomach fat and ensuring adequate nutrient absorption. Fibre helps your body to detox and get rid of the toxins plus helps you feel fuller for longer. Check out our NEW Control X to keep you fuller for longer

5. Not drinking enough water

Water is critical for helping to rid the body of waste and toxins and thirst can often be mistook for hunger so always drink water at the first signs of hunger. Check out these 5 ways to increase your water intake!

6. Eating infrequently

For the metabolism to work effectively, it needs to be refuelled every few hours. So make sure if you always have some healthy snacks on hand to snack on and don’t skip meals.

7. Not exercising enough

Weight loss is 80 per cent diet but it is important to still do exercise.

The exercise will increase your metabolism, release feel good endorphins, help you tone up and increase weight loss. Aim for a 30 minute fast walk every day plus incorporate exercises that use the larger muscle groups to boost metabolism such as squats, mini push ups or light weights

8. Not being motivated enough

You need to be really honest with yourself and write down why you want to lose the weight. Really think about it and keep your reasons close at hand so when you feel demotivated you look back at your reasons and keep going.

9. Incorrect portion size

You must not have the same portion size as your partner! Your plate should be split into 1/4 wholegrain carbohydrates, 1/4 lean protein and 1/2 veggies. If you watch your portion size you will have your weight under control

10. Keep junk food out of the house

You need to throw out all junk food as if you keep it in the house there will be moments of weakness and you will binge. Chuck it all out!

11. Not eating enough

Many mums think eating too little is the key to weight loss. This intact can interfere with your metabolism, send your body into starvation mode and actually prevent you losing weight.

It is important to eat the right number of calories for your body – read more about this here.

12. Putting too much pressure on yourself and not being in the right frame of mind

Make sure you are in the right frame of mind before trying to lose weight and when you are ready make sure you set realistic goals.

So, if you are making ANY of these weight loss mistakes – it’s time to stop them RIGHT NOW! What’s more is that our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge can help.

The Healthy Mummy exists to help tired, busy mums like you SHIFT THE WEIGHT and REACH YOUR GOAL WEIGHT.

The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is an affordable, breastfeeding-friendly and realistic program that helps mums tackle their diet and improve their overall health through weekly (and customisable) meal plans, at-home exercises and 24/7 social support.

  • 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
  • Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
  • Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
  • Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
  • Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels
  • Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes!

To find out more on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge click here.

Mandy Maree Admiraal

Like many mums, Mandy struggled with weight gain AFTER having children and was desperate to lose the extra weight and reclaim her body. Mandy began her Healthy Mummy journey in 2017 after signing up to The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges and following the family-friendly workouts and meals plans. She says “I started losing weight in April last year.” Fast forward to Oct 2018, Mandy says “I am now at the lightest I have ever been!”. She has lost 26.7kgs (down from 94.5kg to 67.8kg) and gone from a size 18 to a size 8 and is looking and feeling FANTASTIC!

Cassie McKay

Cassie McKay has lost 10KGs on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and isn’t looking back! “Still on the hunt for the perfect swimsuit. I’m currently having completely different issues now to before The Healthy Mummy. Then – I felt uncomfortable and struggled to find a pair I liked. Now – I’ve tried on so many pairs…. and I love them all!! It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever had this “problem” – even as a teenager I lacked self-confidence. I love that The Healthy Mummy has helped me to finally find it within myself.”

Kerrie O’Brien

Never in a million years did 48-year-old mum Kerrie O’Brien imagine she would appear in a swimsuit on national TV with the word ‘confidence’ emblazoned across her chest. But that’s exactly what happened! She reflects on her life changing experiences since losing 18kgs* with The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges and Smoothies. By following The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges, app exercises, and enjoying an average of one smoothie a day for 18 months Kerrie has lost 18kgs*, gone down from 77kgs to 59kgs, and from size 14-16/XL to size 8/XS!

Em Nicholson

Em started The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges soon after having her daughter. She says “I weighed 115kgs and really had no idea how to start or even how unhealthy I was. Since signing up I have lost over 40kgs with the Healthy Mummy Smoothies and Challenges “I am super proud of myself and what I have learnt, achieved and what I am going to achieve in the future”.

The Healthy Mummy

We have an amazing team of 10 writers at the Healthy Mummy that are all dedicated to getting you the best stories, information and content.

Don't Make These Mistakes When Running Outdoors

Warmer Spring weather inspires many to ditch the gym and run outside in the fresh air and on open roads. Before you make the switch from treadmill to street, avoid these common mistakes that could lead to injury.

Doing Too Much Too Soon

Between the steep hills, wind factor, uneven or slippery terrain, and not having a belt propelling you forward, running outside is harder than running on a treadmill. And since it&aposs more taxing on your muscles, you are more prone to shin splints and other pains. Start off with shorter distances on flat roads or trails, and as your endurance improves, gradually increase your mileage and hill work. If you experience shin pain, take a few minutes to walk and stretch out your lower legs. Don&apost run through the pain because it may cause further injury, preventing you from running at all. When you&aposre not running, strengthen your shins with this exercise.

Trying to Maintain a Constant Pace

The treadmill belt keeps a consistent pace for you, so it&aposs easy to get into a rhythm. Outside is a whole new ballgame since you&aposre in charge of maintaining your speed. Aside from using your own muscles to propel each step, the steeper inclines, road obstacles, and uneven terrain make it harder to run fast. Don&apost feel compelled to push yourself to run at the same pace you did on the treadmill you may end up falling or pulling a muscle. Run at a moderate and comfortable pace that allows you to run safely, and gradually increase your speed over several weeks. Check out these tips on how to become a faster runner.

Although easily accessible, pavement is a hard, unforgiving surface. Abruptly switching from a soft treadmill belt to a stiff road can be such a shock to the muscles and joints some may find it hard to run half a mile without stopping in pain. Ease into running on the pavement by starting on the grassy areas between the sidewalk and the road, or better yet, stick to dirt roads or woodsy trails. Here are even more trail-running tips for the beginner.

Wearing the Wrong Shoes

A regular running sneaker was perfect for the flat, predictable surface of a treadmill, but once you head outdoors, make sure your sneaker&aposs tread can handle the gravel, dirt roads, and slick trails. You want a sneaker that supports your feet and offers a grippy sole so you feel confident moving over uneven surfaces.

It&aposs easy to hit the ground running, but if you&aposre not paying attention, you may end up in an unfamiliar neighborhood or woodsy trail, with no clue as to how to get home. The adrenaline that builds from a panicked feeling of being lost can often make you run faster without paying attention to where your feet step, increasing the likelihood of tripping. Prevent getting lost by planning new routes before you head out the door. Always bring your phone along and try one of the many iPhone running apps that use a GPS to keep track of your location (I use the Nike+ GPS app). Taking a running buddy is also a smart idea, and get in the habit of telling someone where you&aposre going before you head out, just in case you get hurt or lost.